University graduates entering a great job market

The Most Regretted and Most Loved College Majors

44% of all current job seekers with college degrees regret their college major choice, according to a recent ZipRecruiter survey. The happiest graduates are those who majored in computer and information sciences, and those who majored in criminology. In both groups, 72% would choose the same major again if they had to do so today. 

Other majors that graduates are less likely to regret include quantitative fields, such as engineering, health care, business, and finance. On the other hand, the most-regretted majors are journalism, followed by sociology, and liberal arts.

Job seekers’ feelings about their college majors are strongly tied to their job prospects later. Computer science graduates are in high demand across a wide range of industries, from science to tech to consulting and management. They are securing highly paid jobs, with an average annual salary of almost $100K, according to BLS.

Within each field, the most highly paid respondents are much more likely to be happy about their college major choice. Among communications graduates, grads who are happy about their field are earning 1.6 times more than those who would choose a different major. The same goes for marketing management and research grads: those who are satisfied with their major choice are making 3 times more than those with regrets.

Among graduates who regret their major, the top majors they wish they had chosen instead are computer science (selected by 13%) and business administration (selected by 11%). Computer science is substantially less popular among women. Only 8% of women who regret their majors wish they had studied computer science, compared with 19% of men.

Written by

Sinem Buber is an economist at ZipRecruiter with a focus on US labor market insights and trends. Previously, she worked at ADP Research Institute where she published the ADP National Employment Report. She holds a PhD in Economics from The Graduate Center, CUNY.

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